Dreaming dreams

I’ve been noticing a rising theme on the Twitters over the last 2-3 weeks.

As lockdown/self-isolation has bitten, increasing numbers of people are reporting a rise of sharply remembered, vivid dreams.

Perhaps the actual incidence hasn’t changed, but people are being more open about things in their lives.

Or perhaps being put under what is effectively a form of house arrest is having a subtle effect on our subconscious.

Either way, I find it interesting.

I’m still keeping a dream diary, where I quickly scribble a few basic details into my phone, before they evaporate.

But I have no intention of sharing anything from the last three weeks. No way.

But there are a couple of Twitter hashtags where people are starting to document their bizarro recollections.

Sailing (dream, not plane)

In which stir craziness tightens its grip around the fevered brain of our stay-at-home hero


I had a bonkers dream last night.

I dreamt that I bought a yacht.

It was in Australia.

So I flew out to the Land of Oz, where we had a couple of shakedown cruises.

The yacht was crewed, and I only took the helm for the final ‘back to port’ leg.

We agreed a price and I stocked the yacht for the journey back to the UK.

So far, so straightforward.

But then my dream became locked in a weird logical loop.

I couldn’t decide on the route back home.

Should I head northwest through the Indian Ocean?

If I did (my dream reasoned), I could pick up a stopover in the Maldives/BIOT, before heading in to the Gulf of Aden, then the Red Sea, Gulf of Suez, and finally in to the Med via the Suez Canal.

From Port Said it would be a relatively straightforward journey through the Med, through the Straits of Gibraltar, and then northwards, hugging the coast of Portugal, across the Bay of Biscay and back to Blighty.

Or should I head east-northeast, across the South Pacific, stopping en route at the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia, before crossing to Panama, and motoring through the Panama Canal.

Then crossing The Atlantic to Cape Verde, before heading northwards via the Canary Islands, Funchal, crossing Biscay before landing back at Blighty.

Here’s a map showing (approximately at least) the two routes:

Dream of routes to the UK from Oz

Dream of routes to the UK from Oz

The yacht, by the way, was an HR 36, which makes the dream all the more bonkers, because Hallberg-Rassy yachts are made in, er, Sweden.

Hallberg Rassy 36

Hallberg Rassy 36

Not Australia at all.


I don’t know which route I did choose, because the bulk of the dream was taken up with agonising over the route decision.

And I woke, before I’d got around to making the final choice.

I am beginning to suspect that my dreams have become more odd – they have certainly become rememberable (yes, it is a word, I checked) – since my heart attack.

Maybe it’s the meds.


I have spent much of today on various sailing forums, trying to ascertain which would be the best route from Oz to the UK.

Blogathon 27/16: Dreams Can Come True

[as the seer of seers, Gabrielle, once sang]

I was at a well-attended party.

It was at a remote country house hotel.

It was a ‘leaving the country’ farewell party.

The party wasn’t being thrown for me, it was for a friend of mine.

She was a Guardian journalist; I think her name was Hannah.

She was short, blonde, cute.

And she was shortly to depart these shores for Chile (ironically, a country I have always wanted to visit).

Most of the people there were very drunk.

I was with a friend.

Can’t remember who.

Despite most people being drunk, I was quite sober.

Though I was lying on the floor of the hotel lounge.

My friend had just told Hannah how funny I was.

I told Hannah that although I was sober, I was even funnier when I was drunk.

I told her that I thought of gags when I was in bed.

And that when I was drunk I wrote my gags down so I’d remember them the next day, but usually I was so drunk that when I read the notes back, my handwriting was illegible scribbles and doodles.

When I woke from this dream it was 2am.

I didn’t write it down, I made just enough notes on my phone to enable me to recall the details later.

Ironically, I couldn’t remember anything about the dream the next morning.

A couple of weeks later I found the note on my phone, and the details came flooding back, in full colour.

In the last twelve months I have woken to fading dream-memories just twice.

The other set of dream notes is far too horrific to recount here.

If I could find out what I’ve been eating to make these things occur, I’d never touch it again.

How about you?




In the words of others

1. Dreams can come true
I’m awake. Woken 20 minutes before my alarm by the aftershocks of a full-colour, action-packed, most vivid dream. I was startled awake by the images that my subconscious served up. Sexual. Explicit. Erotic. And so fucking real. Yet there was no soundtrack – the audio accompaniment was muted. But it was my field of vision. My point of view, that my ‘eyes’ (hindbrain) served up the images through. As a person who never (should read seldom) remembers their dreams, being able to recall this one is weird enough. Recalling the granular detail is disturbing. My heart is racing. I am excited. By the dream.

2. ¿Buscando Quien Eres?
Trying to capture, to articulate who I am/what I am looking for is easy. Trying to get it is much more difficult. I shouldn’t review these things in this post-dream now, but there is a gap in my life and I am keen to fill it. My head, still in a turmoil from such wonderful images, urges me in one direction. The post-dream shreds of common sense tell me to chill out. Relax. Don’t be such a teenager. But it’s not easy, at almost 5am, hands shaking with excitement. I shouldn’t lie here trying to figure out how to get what I feel I want. Not after ‘experiencing’ such real/not real images. It’s like walking out of the best feature film you’ve ever seen and trying to reorganise your life.

3. Comfortably Numb
There was guitar lesson last night. I was less good than normal. My sight-reading failed me and the pentatonic scales couldn’t engage. My head was elsewhere. But we duetted, Trev and I, on some Pink Floyd. Comfortably Numb and then some Wish You Were Here. They both sounded good. Better than good. They both sounded better than they should have. I have only practised three times since last week’s lesson. That’s what being mentally busy gets you. I need to make sure I don’t let guitar practice slip.

4. Splendid Isolation
Daughter is busy. I’m not sure how she has a hectic social calendar, given where she lives, but she is busier than I. Last night’s phone call was brief. I was tired, she had things to do. I miss her. But her next few weekends are fully booked. No time for me.

5. Run To The Hills
Work is entering a less-busy phase. I’m thinking of taking some quality downtime. A long weekend – three or maybe four days. Rome, maybe? Or somewhere in north Africa? Or somewhere else – but somewhere warm. It has been too long since I felt the sun on my skin. Somewhere quiet. Good food. Good wine. Good relaxing. Good company? Want to come with me?

Cat got your tongue?

I went to the stables at the livery yard to get my pony in for the night.

When I walked out to the field I noticed that the horse’s back was covered with lots of very long, very deep scratches. Blood was soaking the tattered, shredded remains of the lightweight shower-proof rug the pony was wearing.

I was absolutely distraught; crying, inconsolable with a kind of grief and a kind of guilt that my pony was in so much pain.

Fresh blood oozed from the big, open, machete-like cuts as the pony walked alongside me from the field in to the yard.

It looked at me with eyes filled with such pain as I tied him up.

I filled a bowl with a warm, soapy solution and bathed the pony’s back, to soften the crusted blood and cleanse the wounds. I peeled back the shredded remains of the rug, the warm water washed the blood down its coloured – Skewbald – back and flanks.

The pony stood still and didn’t fret even though I could feel its pain; it knew I was helping to make things better.

I couldn’t dry its back, because of the deep cuts. I couldn’t put the pony in his stable because he would roll and the bedding would scratch in to the wounds, so I left the pony tied up outside in the hot sunshine with a haynet to chew on.

Then I was at home, standing in the kitchen. I was trying to work out what could have done that to the pony’s back. What could have shredded his lightweight rug.

And then I remembered that the livery yard (which was a farm-based yard, in Somerset, run by a couple I haven’t seen or thought about in maybe a decade), had a big – and I mean a massive – cat.

I drove back to the farm and peered around the corner of the stable block and there were three very scared-looking ponies arranged in a semi-circle. In the middle was the cat.

He was standing on his hind legs and was wrapped in the remains of the lightweight rug I’d peeled off the pony earlier, like some kind of bad monk.

The cat was massive.

He was talking to the ponies in a threatening, scary voice.

‘And remember,’ he hissed. ‘If you don’t do as I say, you’ll get the same treatment as that pretty little pony I had to damage earlier.’

I looked over to the pony who was still tied up where I’d left him, and I saw those terrible, deep, vicious slashes on its back and I was suddenly filled with an enormous rage and anger.

I ran *at* the still-standing-on-his-hind-legs cat with my entire racing pace and I when I reached it I punched it *hard* in the head; a straight-arm jab with the full force of my run and all of my strength combined. I hit it with every single ounce of my strength and that strength was fuelled by horror and rage and anger.

The cat fell to the ground with a *thunk*. I stepped away from the covered cat-body, stood between it and the three ponies and then I kicked it *hard* in the head and I heard a loud snap.

Then I stamped on its head and jumped on its body and kicked its loose, lolling head head again and again. It’s body writhed in the same way that a dead chicken’s body writhes after a not-clean kill.

But it was dead and I kept kicking the head and stamping on the body until all of the rage was gone.

Then I went over to my pony and said, ‘I’m sorry I brought you here, but everything is going to be all right now.’

I cried as I petted the poor injured pony.

Then I wrapped up the dead cat in the even more bloodied remains of the rug and put it in a bin and went home.

My dreams.

Weird, huh?

Sometimes my head just freaks me out

In last night’s/this morning’s dream, I invented, built and test-drove… A Fishing Car.

Yes, I know. Because fishing is such a big part of my life. Not.

Even more bizarrely, the Fishing Car seemed to be modelled on a 1956 Ford Prefect, which (if memory serves me correctly) was the device responsible for the name of Ford Prefect, a significant character in Douglas Adams’ radio play, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’.

Because I am such a great engineer (obv), and because I am super-skilled in the specific area of converting ancient cars in to Fishing Cars, I had waterproofed the engine compartment. I had also built a breather intake (like the trunk air intakes that some Land Rovers have) and – get this – had also built a dual-purpose periscope/air intake thing for the driver.

A periscope? For spotting fish galavanting about on the surface?

On the test drive (drive?), I found a lake with a gradual shore and drove the car down in to the water until it was completely submerged.

So not too much a Fishing Car and more of a driving submersible.

And then I sat there, below the water, listening to the car radio (!), waiting for the fish to come.

I don’t know what I was going to do when the fish turned up because I didn’t seem to have figured out how to get the fishing rod, that was on the passenger seat, out of the car window without letting all of the water in.

But perhaps I had invented a cunning device to take care of that little obstacle.

I can remember that the water was so murky that I had to switch the headlamps on. Now that, you have to admit is completely brilliant.

Illuminated fishing! Oh yes, I have not only invented a driving submersible car-thing for fishing purposes, I have invented illuminated fishing for when the water is too cloudy!


What is it with me and dreams?

This is the second dream in a week that I’ve remembered on waking – normally I am unable to say whether I’ve dreamed or not.

The first dream was the Janet Street-Porter dream of which we shall never speak again; it still makes me shiver in horror and makes my skin crawl.

Sometimes (well, most times really) my mind can be a strange place to live.

Sixes and sevens

I thought that around 09.00 I was going to get a text from Hayley who would tell me precisely what time mid-morning and where in Witney I should pick her up from and which garage in Oxfordshire I would have to take her to, so she could collect her new car.

The phone rang at 09.09, Hayley saying she was ready now to be picked up. Half an hour later I was there.

‘Where are we going?’ I asked.

‘Bristol’, was her response.

Oh well. A few hours later I was back home tucking in to a slightly delayed lunch.

We watched a couple of episodes of Angel and afterwards, for some inexplicable reason, the couch saw some serious action for an hour.

And now Soph is prepping tea while I contemplate getting dressed – or showering and getting dressed.

But that’s not quite it.

I have a niggling throat and a few aches and throbs in various joints. And a headache which, as a rule, I never get. And I feel just a little…

Odd. Peculiar. At sixes and sevens. And tired, desperately tired.

I had a really horrid dream last night. It’s the second time in six months I’ve had that dream. It wasn’t an exact duplicate, some of the less important details were missing and one or two of the important facts were altered.

It woke me, this nightmare, and it troubled me so much I was unable to sleep again afterwards.

So I’ve been up since a little before 06.00.

I think the bad night-time experience has probably added to my general feeling of… whatever this is.

And I’ve sneezed quite a bit today, when sneezing isn’t normally even a daily occurrence.

But I don’t know if the whole ‘not quite right’ thing is physical, mental or psychological.

I just know that I’m at sixes and sevens.

And according to a certain film on ITV2 right now, I’ve just relearned that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.